A consent to let agreement allows you to keep an existing mortgage in place while renting out your home, giving you flexibility and avoiding the cost of a buy-to-let mortgage
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When you take out a traditional mortgage, it will state in the conditions that you are not allowed to let out the property. A consent to let agreement (also known as ‘permission to let’) alters the conditions to permit letting.
Consent to let agreements are typically for fixed periods, usually between six months and two years. They are not a long-term solution for landlords but can be handy when you are looking to temporarily relocate or as a stopgap while you move house.
When the consent to let period runs out, a mortgage reverts to the original conditions. If borrowers want to continue letting out their property they would have to re-mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage with rates that are usually significantly higher.
Borrowers can expect to pay interest rates that are on average 48% higher when shopping for a buy-to-let mortgage over the residential mortgage equivalent. 
Your lender may charge for providing consent to let, either as a fixed fee or an increase in interest rate, and there are other criteria to meet before it is granted.
To get to grips with the economics of property investing try our Buy-to-let calculator, which also works with consent to let. Input your mortgage rate, expected rental income and income tax band, to get an indication of profitability.
Check the economics of a buy-to-let investment
As consent to let is temporary, mortgage lenders will ask why you are applying to make sure you aren’t planning to let the property for the long-term.
If you live inside a commuter zone but are working from home, you could take advantage of consent to let by temporarily relocating to a cheaper area.
Historically, some of the most popular reasons for seeking consent to let have been:
Consent to let gives you flexibility and can often be cheaper than a buy-to-let mortgage if you want to rent out your home.
If you are willling to relocate to somewhere cheaper, you could potentially earn some extra income.
It can be valuable for those interested in investing in property, as it gives you the experience of being a landlord, which could also make it easier to get access to certain buy-to-let mortgages in the future.
Other examples of scenarios where consent to let could be a good option:
While consent to let is cheaper than buy-to-let in most cases, it’s not always cost-free.
Some lenders, such as Barclays and Virgin Money, give consent with no additional charges. Others, including Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society, increase the interest rate on the mortgage by around 1%. You should check with your lender to find out their terms.
On top of these charges, you’ll have to arrange and pay for repairs and maintenance during the tenancy, so it’s a good idea to not rely on the rental income.
If you can’t find a tenant, you’ll have to continue making mortgage repayments out of your own pocket on top of meeting the rent or mortgage costs of your new property.
You will also have to meet all of the other costs of being a landlord which can include:
Most mortgage lenders will be happy to help you with a request for consent to let, but there are some likely restrictions that you should know about.
It can take several weeks for consent to let to be approved and until it is in place you can't start letting the property, so get your application in early.
If you've decided to apply for consent to let, remember to look at our UK rental yields page which will show you the average cost of renting across the UK. The page can help make sure you are getting the most for your money.
Remember if you are thinking about property investing (including consent to let) to try our Buy-to-let calculator. It will help you get to grips with the economics of renting property - accounting for income tax and fixed charges which you can adjust to see how it affects your income.
1 Based on the lowest interest rate available for residential and buy-to-let mortgages at either 50% or 75% LTV with either a two-year or five-year fixed term. Compared rates from most major UK providers.
Check the economics a buy-to-let investment